Equestrian Life jan-Mar 2020

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Equestrian LIFE

JAN-MAR 2020

PERSONALITY PROFILE: Kevin Lerena Rolling with the Punches AKASHA MOUNTAIN RETREAT Disconnect from Digital. Reconnect with Nature HORSE BOX EQUESTRIAN For the Love of Horses THE ELUSIVE WORK-LIFE (HORSE) BALANCE Scheduling Saddle Time


Chad CUNNINGHAM Leading by example


KwaZulu Natal


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Contents 10

Equestrian [ LIFE



46 TRAVEL Glamping




10 COVER FEATURE Chad Cunningham


For The Love of Horses



Because Horses are Life – Right?





The Festive Season

30 EQUINE ESSENTIALS Skincare Secret Weapons

32 NEIGH-BOURHOOD SECRETS Akasha Mountain Retreat



Changing the Equestrian Apparel Landscape


Common Dog Training


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KwaZulu Natal

Western Cape


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Tel: 061 414 9147

Tel: 083 661 1543


Equestrian [ LIFE

Our cover star for this issue is Chad Cunningham..... January signals the start of the Western Cape horse racing season and with some of South Africa’s largest race meetings on the cards between now and March – including the Sun Met and the L’Ormarins Queens Plate Racing Festival – it truly is a Summer of Champions. Keeping with racing, we chat to another local entrepreneur, Roxy Joubert, owner and founder of JOCK Racing – an apparel and accessory brand which is taking the market by storm. If you’re new to the sport and not sure where to begin, we’ve done your homework for you and provided a full kiddies riding starter kit A very warm welcome to 2020 – a new month, including all the basic apparel to get your little one started. Now that you have decided to new year and a whole new decade! introduce them to the world of horse riding, we suggest you kiss your money and your I’m not sure about everyone else, but 2019 weekends goodbye .... but it’s worth it – we flew past in what felt like a blur, and yet simultaneously felt like the longest year ever! can promise you that! Tough economic conditions, continued In our business section we chat Crowdfarming, government volatility and a world teetering a concept coined by another South African on the edge of a climate and water crisis has meant re-evaluating our lifestyles and adopting entrepreneur who applied the concept of a minimalist lifestyle to save both our pockets crowdfunding to farming cows – with great success for both the farmer and the investor. and our planet. Find out more about how you can invest your On the positive side, we live in one of the most money in crowdfunding (or impact farming) ventures as a means for additional income. beautiful countries in the world with some of On the topic of work and investing for returns, the most resilient and innovative people and we contemplate the elusive work-life balance there is so much to be thankful for. If you’re and the effect of adding horses and riding into looking to do some domestic travel this new year, we’ve found two amazing options – Akasha the equation. Setting goals, setting boundaries Mountain Retreat in the Western Cape (which and setting time in the diary is not only necessary – it's healthy – so pencil in your is situated on the edge of a mountain with pony time for your own well-being. roaming horses as your only other company whilst there) and a company started by a local I hope you enjoy this issue and look forward entrepreneur, called Glamping, which, as its name suggests, takes guests away on camping to seeing you all back in the show ring after a lengthy maternity break. Taking my own weekends but with the luxury of beds and advice on time management and attempting mattresses and not having to pitch one’s own to ensure I better balance work and play. tent #Score! Printed by

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Hello 2020! It’s a new year and a whole new decade and that means new beginnings, new adventures and new memories to be made!


10 – 11 January 2020 L’Ormarins Queens Plate Racing Festival 2020 sees Kenilworth Racecourse host the fourth official L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Racing Festival, being held over Friday, 10th and Saturday, 11th of January, with the 159th running of the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate taking place on Saturday, 11th of January. Various hospitality options will be available over both race days, including the much anticipated Garden Party being held on Friday, 10th of January. Don’t forget to don shades of blue and white as per the dress code! When: Friday 10 and Saturday 11 January Where: Kenilworth Racecourse Book: Computicket



31 January 2020 Sabie Tube Race If January feels like it has 4328 days, then here’s a fun way to end off the longest month of the year. The Sabie Tube Race takes place at Castle Rock Municipal Camping Site in Sabie and features two full days of live entertainment including the likes of Chunda Munki and Timo ODV. Pack in your tents, your tubes and your cooler boxes and head to Sabie for the ride of your life! When: 31 January 2020 Where: Castle Rock, Municipal Camping Site, Sabie Book: Quicket

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1 February 2020 The Sun Met The Sun Met is Africa’s richest race day and will see the very best of SA’s racehorses, racing enthusiasts and fashionistas descend on Kenilworth Racecourse. The theme for this years’ event is African Luxury: Visionaries, so you can rest assured that apart from the equine athletes on show, there will be a plethora of eccentric, fashion-forward ensembles worth witnessing first-hand. Media personality, Bonang Matheba, Miss South Africa, Zozi Tunzi, and Internationally acclaimed DJ Black Coffee will ensure that the entertainment is world-class during this celebration of luxury. When: 1 Feburary 2020 Where: Kenilworth Racecourse Book: http://www.sunmet.co.za/tickets/

14 February 2020 An Ebony & Ivory Valentine with the SA Lipizzaners The SA Lipizzaners will be joining forces with the magnificent Friesians from Adelprag Stud for an exclusive Valentines Extravaganza for a rendition of their famous Black & White performance. The power and presence of the Friesians compliments the grace and nobility of the Dancing White Stallions with astonishing effect. When: Friday 14th February 2020 Where: SA Lipizzaners, 1 Dahlia Road, Kyalami Book: R200.00 per person or R350 per couple from Quicket


Mar 15 March 2020 Deloitte Challenge It’s official – KZN’s most scenic race is back and takes place on the 15th of March. The Deloitte Challenge consists of a 42.2km Marathon (starting at Lifestyle Centre, Ballito), a 21.1km Half Marathon (starting at Sibaya Casino), a 10km TEN-K Run (starting at Virginia Soccer Club, Virginia Airport), a 5km Fun Run (starting at the Amphitheatre Durban Promenade) and a 40km Cycle Race (starting at Lifestyle Centre, Ballito). All running challenges end at the Amphitheatre Durban Promenade and the Cycle Challenge ends on the M4 near Sandile Thusi Road. It’s a Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans Ultra Marathon Qualifier. When: 15 March 2020 Where: Durban, Kwazulu-Natal

29 March 2020 Jeremy Loops at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts Musician and fellow horse lover, Jeremy Loops is live at the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts in Cape Town in March. As anyone who has attended his concerts before can attest, it requires little encouragement to pack that picnic basket and book those tickets for a foot tapping, song singing, great time! When: 29 March 2020 Where: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Book: Webtickets


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Oh hey January! It feels like we blinked and December holidays and the festive season just flew past! One of the few good things about starting a new year however is the promise of a clean start – new resolutions, a blank diary and medical aid savings reloaded (yes, adulting is real).


Considering how busy life is already between work, family, children, hobbies and riding, a number of us are reliant on the provision of convenience services such a queuing for drivers licences’, easy to cook meals and kiddies educational toy subscription boxes. We take a look at which services are game-changers.


February brings with it Valentines Day and the celebration of love. We take a look at what valentines events and specials are taking place in the month of love and provide gift suggestions for your significant other.

REALISTIC RESOLUTIONS New years is renowned for unrealistic resolutions which fade away as we fall back into the hamster wheel of life. We’ve put together a list of realistic resolutions that you can set and stick to – and the best part is, most have an environmentally friendly or financial inspiration to keep you motivated to stick to them!

Q Who To Follow on Instagram

If there is one thing that we wish for in abundance in this new year, it’s an awareness of environmental issues and a movement towards more sustainable lifestyles. With the recent heat waves, droughts in some parts of the country and floods in others, it’s clear Mother Nature isn’t pleased with us, so we’ve found some pages worth following for eco-friendly hacks and inspiration for green living.


Anita Vandyke’s feed consists of visuals of her daily efforts to make the world a better place. With images of hacks and simple methods to live #AZeroWasteLife, this medical student and mom is a great example of eco-consciousness and how to embrace it in your every day life.

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Theplantedone’s Instagram feed is a delectable reel of plantbased recipes and nutritional expertise to help make #MealPrepSunday that much easier – and more sustainable in her plastic free kitchen!


Her IG Bio says it all – “I haven't used single-use plastics for a decade … because the ocean." Kate Nelson's feed is dedicated to living plastic-free, combined with jawdropping images of the impact plastic has on the environment. Follow her if you want a reminder to put down that plastic straw and attempt to live more sustainably


CHAD CUNNINGHAM Leading by Example

Chad Cunningham needs little introduction in equestrian circles. A top child and junior rider – the protogee of legendary rider and trainer Gonda Betrix – he learned first-hand the value that high-level coaching and experience can have on youth development - not merely as riders, but as young humans. Equestrian Life speaks to him about his European exchanges, what make.


ll superheroes have powers, and it only takes a few minutes of speaking to Chad to realise that his are his people skills. He is everything a good coach and leader should be: knowleadgeable and passionate about his subject, simultaneously humble and hungry, very firm and suddenly very funny. At one point he ponders loudly “We’ll update our PHONE’S software weekly, but noooooo, people think we don’t need to improve our knowledge base from one year to the next. It’s crazy!” But Chad doesn’t agree that his love of teaching necessarily starts with the pupil though: for him it always comes back to the horse. “I like to ask the juniors ‘Why are you here doing this?’ and it’s interesting to see their responses. Some are short term focused say ‘I am here to jump this line until I get it right,’ and I say no, I mean why this and they get ambitious and say ‘I love competing and want to do it well’ or, most commonly.... “Um”. What is your ‘why’? Why I get up and do this every day is because I love horses. That has to be it, because the other stuff doesn’t always come off!” Chad’s passion to coach should be the motto for equestrian coaches everywhere: help riders to help their horses. When we put the horse first, we find a clearer path to excellence. It was this ethos that led to Chad being chosen to travel with the South African children’s team for the first time in 1999 to the FEI Children’s World Championships (now the Children’s World Classics), sparking what would become a lifelong affair with travel and teaching. Over the next few years Chad’s team would attend nine times, in cities from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, with incredible results: out of nine visits they won four times and took the style award another whopping seven times. Chad’s excellent networking skills led to an invitation to Lars Meyer Zu Bexten inviting him to bring children to the German Friendships. This experience allows youth the opportunity for international teamwork, intercultural understanding, finding new friends, and celebrating a love for horses together. All in six days! While there is a team event on borrowed horses at the conclusion for the approximately 140 riders from more than 30 nations, the emphasis remains on friendships and not competition. These early days saw the riders that we see on podiums now, like Kelly O’Connor and Samantha McIntosh, get their foundations with Chad on these incredible journeys. From competing in FEI competitions at Spruce

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Meadows and Aachen, young riders would return to dominate the local competition circuit and often return to the international one too. Chad watched how this exposure was instrumental in developing not only horsemanship skills but social ones, and a seed was planted… TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

Their knowledge was extended to their equine partners, learning stretching and warm-up techniques from Equine-Librium director and therapist Ronel van der Sijde, and being privvy to veterinarian treatments and discussions. Charmaine Gardener trained them all on the equine simulators, perfecting their seats and refining aids, while the other children had an opportunity to watch and support their teammates, going on from there to work with Springbok mental coach Dr Greyling in group and private sessions.

In 2010 Chad found himself again in charge of a group of riders, this time attending the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore. He had five children By the time they arrived in Buenos Aires, they had a team! The external in the Group 9 team who had never met, and he couldn’t help but notice coaches all engaged together, the kids had already been chatting on social the cohesion and mental strength that the more established teams had, media in the run-up, and the incredible cohesion in their Group 9 team which definitely contributed to better rounds and ultimately success. saw them bringing back a bronze, a mere (and painful!) one timefault off the leaders. When he was asked to take the role again in 2018, first at the Algerianheld Youth Africa Games in anticipation of the next Youth Olympics At this point Chad sits back, having been reliving it before me in that year in Buenos Aires, he had a definite plan of action. Aided by the technicolour detail. I am astonished our continent has achieved this, FEI president Ingmar De Vos who approved and encouraged the initiative, but Chad has one small thing he hopes to improve for next time, and it Chad wanted to do a “bootcamp” for the five attending riders to adequately is back to that superpower of humility: he says that after the first event prepare them for international competition. The other national federations of the team competition, all the riders went their own way for the individual were incredibly supportive, both financially and logistically, and from competition. The big groups still beat us there, because - and this is partly his Gauteng base he hosted the children from Mauritius, Zambia, Egypt their incredible experience in high end competition, and partly their and Zimbabwe, as well as the South African based rider. geography - they remained a team until the end. Chad believes that if equestrians can suppress their egos and ambitions for a greater good, The camp lasted a week and saw a daily routine like that he had used we can and we will have African riders on those podiums shortly. abroad: in the mornings the young riders would gym – “If you want to We need to be mindful that in our desires to be THE rider on the podium, be an athlete on the horse you must first be an athlete off the horse!” – we don’t lose sight of the long term vision of developing sport in Africa and then they would have two lessons a day, rotating amongst the eight and miss the opportunity to feature altogether – alone we might go fast, top quality horses that local riders had loaned to Chad for this experience. but together we will go far.

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LEARN FROM THE BEST TO BE BETTER THAN THE BEST All the while Chad has been persevering with developing international relationships and getting young riders from around the world on training camps. At the Athens Olympics he was sitting in the grandstand and loudly exclaimed how he adored Chris Kappler’s technique. Someone tapped him on the shoulder and he found himself talking to Chris’ mother, who promptly took him to the edge of the warm-up arena to meet his idol! Kappler, holder of an Olympic individual silver and a team gold, is now one of the connections that has opened his Florida yard to Chad and his initiatives for international training. He joins the likes of Dutch silver medallist Albert Voorn, Jan Verellen, and German-based Marten Frehe-Siermann in being parties passionate about educating youth.

BEING THE LEADER YOU WOULD FOLLOW What is being passionate about development, without being passionate about the developers? Chad’s philosophy is very inclusive of all professionals, and he runs regular “Coach The Coaches” clinics on his travels in an effort to share knowledge. In a sport where revolutionary advances are constantly being made, it is the duty of coaches to stay progressive and constantly try to be better. The old-school methodology of standing in the dust shouting at people is fading, and if we want to stay relevant we need to be pooling our vast experience to improve horses, pupils, and each other. A pivotal experience for Chad was – wait for it – riding with a world champion reiner. He casually put Chad on his horse to herd a calf [Chad disclaimer: “I don’t think that’s the right terminology… like when someone says their horse ran very fast, or has a sore ankle.”] and he drawled “Just hold the horn.” As the horse stalked around the pen Chad says he had two revelations: the first was the value of his seat, and the second was that we discredit any information to our own detriment. We need to voraciously absorb information to help us do what we do better. TOP TIPS FOR COACHES: • Stay progressive … horses are no place for egos! • Read, watch, listen and learn. Constantly. • Teaching is not about new ideas - it is about explaining ideas better. • Don’t cling to knowledge or pupils; the more we share, the better we are. • Be the leader you would follow: firm but fair, inclusive and interested, and always advocate for the horse first. TOP TIPS FOR RIDERS • Pretty is what pretty does – be an effective rider! • Mouths and backs are sacred … don’t bump them. • Don’t chase results: commit to the process and success is inevitable • When things go wrong, go back to basics. • Prioritise your horses and they will return the favour.

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VISION IS THE ART OF SEEING WHAT IS INVISIBLE In Chad’s utopia we see a future with a European base for our African riders. Perhaps it is a timeshare situation, perhaps the students go there to study an Equine Science degree (like Chad did) in their gap year while they are paid to manage the yard and produce horses for sale. It can become more inclusive with development sponsorships, the right team, and a successful blueprint. Chad says that it can happen if we can “be creative, and a whole lot brave,” and honestly I think this is the best life advice I have ever heard for any big dream! In the interim, his international training tours are in their ninth year with several camps already planned for 2020 around the Tokyo Olympics. His pupils continue to dominate the South African showjumping scene, and he has a couple of his own broodmares percolating champions at home in Mnandi, where he resides between travels with longtime partner and successful rider Ian van Schalkwyk, manager and competitive rider for London Lane Stud. As for his own riding future, he has an imported eight year old in training with the incredible Chris van der Merwe, but his priority lies in development currently, for both himself and his students: “If I ever feel like I know enough and I don’t need to learn more, I’ll be in trouble.” Sage words for anyone on the path to enlightenment, equestrian or otherwise. All of these efforts of togetherness, of friendships and networking, exchanges and development, can all really be summarised in a borrowed pair of boots. One of Chad’s international competition trips (and this year alone he had fifty eight international flights under the belt by October!) his student’s luggage didn’t arrive with them in Columbia. Chad, ever the problem solver, found an Australian girl called Jaime Priestley who lent young Cameron Patrick her kit to compete in on the first day. In 2013 Chad invited her to join his students in Holland on a training tour, where she procured a four year old warmblood called Courage. This year that young girl got her first international points, competing and placing Courage in two World Cup classes, but throughout it all she has remained friends with the South Africans she lent her boots to! Horses teach us a lot about commitment, growth, teamwork, and dreams. Some of it even applies to horses! “Chad is a world-class coach, and I owe him so much. The effort and exposure he is giving to the youth of our sport must be applauded.” • Kelly O’Connor: International Open showjumper, ex-pupil, SA Champs winner, current colleague Anyone interested in contacting Chad with regards to his training tours and international clinics can contact him on chambourne@mweb.co.za


On these trips students from around the world join Chad for a week of immersive education, learning from the best on excellent horses, a nonnegotiable for Chad. Suiermann takes them to Global Championship Tours shows, giving them a taste of the big leagues, while Verellen embodies the universal style that is seeing so much success. Kappler is a management guru, and students visiting there can expect to see the inner workings of top stable yards and veterinary care, maybe visit a high end stud farm, or take a cultural visit with their new friends if they have finished mucking out early enough (shock! horror!). Chad, ever holistic, also facilitates airtime with renowned equestrian mental coach Annette Paterakis, known for creating rider confidence through positive talk and visualisation techniques - “Be stronger than your excuses!”– to create future athletes with the temperament to go with the skills… and the blisters from actual hard work!

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Horse Box

EQUESTRIAN For the Love of Horses

From humble beginnings to a household name, Cat Box Pet Hyper, and one of South Africa’s most exclusive equestrian stores – Horse Box Equestrian - are fast becoming the preferred choice of pet owners and equestrians alike. With existing stores in Bloemfontein and Kwazulu Natal, the flagship Horse Box Equestrian store in Gauteng was opened in Muldersdrift in November 2019.


at Box Pet Hyper has a long and illustrious career, having started as a Cat Box service by the late CBM Meyer back in 1968. It was a cat litter service whereby cat owners were supplied with clean litter trays, using river sand, and the old used litter trays were removed. It was a door to door service with an emphasis on convenience and pet well-being. A few years later, imported clay cat litter was introduced to South Africa and Mr. Meyer did some research, finding out that the clay litter was manufactured from a natural mineral called Attapulgite – of which, South Africa has a number of mineral deposits. This led him to the Springbok Flats, an extensive plain situated in Limpopo, where he started excavating Attapulgite on a small scale to be used for his cat litter delivery service. In time, he developed a fully operational manufacturing plant (now known as Arleco), which is one of the largest cat litter manufacturers in Southern Africa. Arleco still manufactures cat litter for retail and private labels. In 2000, Cat Box stopped with the delivery service and opened the first Cat Box Pet Hyper in Randburg, catering for all pet products and accessories. Today there are 24 Cat Box Pet Hyper stores nationwide owned and managed by Mr Meyer’s sons, Leon and Cor Meyer. Both sons grew up in the family business and have been involved for a number of years – Leon since 1992 and Cor since 2000.

Horse Box Equestrian is a direct importer of a number of esteemed and world renowned brands, such as Cavalor, ForHorses, Juuls, HV POLO, Careliner, Santa Cruz, Imperial Riding, Acavallo, Kingsley, QHP, Equestro &Effol to name a few. Their range is constantly updated with the latest trends. “We take pride in knowing that our extensive in store range is met with nothing but elegance, supreme quality and superior service” says Cor. They have exclusivity on a number of imported brands so it’s worth a trip to Muldersdrift to see exactly what they have in-store.

HBE have recently appointed two brand ambassadors in Chad Cunningham & Danielle Lemmer. Showjumper Chad is the ambassador for the With a love for horses and equestrian sports, adding an equestrian Cavalor (FEI nutritional partner) range of feed , supplements and care division to the family business was a natural expansion. Starting with products. Chad has extensive experience in Equestrian sport and horse stores in Bloemfontein and Kwazulu-Natal, and having recently launched training, both locally and internationally. Thanks to Chad’s international the flagship Johannesburg store in Muldersdrift last November, Cor and experience , he has always had a high regard for the Cavalor range of Leon have plans to expand further and have already identified areas in products and many of his top horses in SA are fed Cavalor and are thriving. certain provinces for future stores. Danielle is a young, vibrant and dynamic Equestrian rider competing Apart from tack and riding apparel, the Johannesburg branch of Horse in the open classes who makes a perfect fit for the brands that Horse Box Equestrian also stocks bedding, food and all fodder – making it a Box Equestrian is introducing to the SA market. one stop shop for horse owners. It also shares the premises with a Cat Box Pet Hyper outlet, so shoppers can conveniently satisfy their retail With an amazing team behind the brand and a commitment to requirements for all the fur-children in one location. It also sports a continuously obtaining new brands, new stock and following new coffee shop on-site, the Box Café, for that much-needed caffeine fix trends and innovations, Horse Box Equestrian is fast becoming the after some retail therapy, or a quick sandwich to ‘carboload’ before a preferred choice for horse riders – you simply need to pop in store marathon shopping session. to find out why!

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HORSE BOX EQUESTRIAN HILLCREST Cat Box Pet Hyper & Horse Box Equestrian 50 Old Main Rd, Hillcrest

BLOEMFONTEIN Cat Box Pet Hyper & Horse Box Equestrian Curie Ave, Generaal De Wet, Bloemfontein, Bloemfontein, Free State, 9301

JOHANNESBURG Cat Box Pet Hyper & Horse Box Equestrian Beyers Naude Drive, Muldersdrift, JHB, 2195 2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE | 15


Open Letter to the Equestrian Moms & Dads

Dear Equestrian Mom and Dad Thank you! We may not say it often enough, and when we do, you may not believe just how much we mean it ... But there is so much that we’re grateful for: Thank you for giving up your weekends, your Sunday morning sleep-ins and your restful weekends away to travel from show to show. After a minimum 40 hour work week we’re sure that giving up your only days off to spend it at a horse show wasn’t particularly high on your priority list, but you did it anyway! For the early mornings, long days and late nights on show days. For helping to load, feed and hold horses. For teaching yourselves to tow a horse box (even in the dreaded reverse gear), for trading in the luxury sedan for a 4x4 SUV capable of towing two tons. For braving the elements (heat waves, freezing cold and pouring rain) at lessons, shows, clinics and pony camps. For holding blankets, halters and water buckets, taking photos and recording videos and still being the great moral supporter ring-side. For loyally waiting alongside the warm up awaiting the command to raise the poles – and bravely obliging despite the chaos, cavalry charging and utterances of frustration from other competitors. For your brutal honesty when others sugar coated their opinion to save our self esteem. For your encouragement and optimism when we needed a push to exit the pity party after a bad result. For cheering the loudest on the good days…. And even on the bad days! For loving our horses and ponies as much as we do! Even though they’re the cause of all the long days, early mornings, expensive purchases and time spent alongside an arena inhaling dust. Even though they may bully you into walking to the long grass while you’re trying to hold them diligently at the horsebox. Despite the bright green slobber kisses on your freshly dry-cleaned jacket and especially because they ALWAYS know when you have carrots - no matter how well you try to conceal them. Thank you for giving us our best friends, endless memories and a childhood filled with laughter and pride. Thank you for taking us to that first pony ride – it may have been the most expensive decision you ever made - but we beg you not to regret it. Some people spend a lifetime searching for their passion and we found it that first day we took up the reins!

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The Elusive Work-Life (HORSE) BALANCE Because horses are life – right?

It’s hard enough trying to achieve the elusive “work/life balance” without adding horse riding to the equation. Between demanding jobs, relationships and possibly demanding children as well as needy equines, it’s like juggling three full time jobs.


here are very few people who have managed to successfully achieve an optimal work-life balance. Except possibly trust fund babies who don’t actually have to work – but is that actually a fulfilling existence?! The horse rider in me who dreams of riding all day and spending hours at stables says yes, but the achievement-orientated, independent working-mom in me says yes too – let’s be honest – unless work is meaningful and changes lives, for most of us it’s a means to an end (or a means to continue our super expensive hobby that quite literally eats while we sleep).

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Considering most of us aren’t recipients of seven digit inheritance pay-outs or freak multi-million Rand lottery winnings, we have to attempt to balance work, life and horses as best as possible. It’s important to note that unlike, cycling or running, horses are living, breathing, sentient animals who can’t be set aside in the garage or cupboard until such time as life allows us a break to pursue it more regularly. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, pressured by peers, over-extended to the point of near burn-out or simply that there must be an easier way… read on for some hints on how to better achieve the work-horse balance:

1. PLAN AHEAD Planning ahead isn’t so much a solution as it is a change in lifestyle and mentality as it applies to everything. Whilst easier said than done with horses, where possible, try to plan your work and family commitments and show schedule in advance and then schedule everything else around those. It makes saying no and becoming more selective on how to spend your time that much easier. Print or purchase a month-to-view calendar and populate it with shows you’d like to compete in, holidays, work commitments and family celebrations so that not only do you pre-commit your attendance, but you can visually analyse your distribution of time amongst the priorities in your life. 2. WORK TOGETHER If it’s a possibility, consider half-baiting your horse so that you can share the responsibility and time commitments required. This way, the horse still gets sufficient attention, exercise and care but you reduce the pressure on yourself to be its sole provider. The equine ‘co-parent’ could be someone you know – a friend or fellow rider at a stable yard who loves your horse as much as you do – or a stranger who has a similar riding style to you who complements your training methods. No matter how well you know the other person, always have contracts in place, consider what disciplines or grades the other rider completes in and allocate riding times or days and show calendar entries accordingly to ensure a fair and equal split between riders. 3. TIME SAVING TRICKS The one thing that majority of us are lacking most (apart from finances and above-mentioned trust funds) is time! There are a number of small changes one can make in daily life to free up a few extra minutes. Whilst the actual amount of time saved may seem insignificant in isolation, when you add up all the time saved through the course of a day just by doing things smarter, it actually makes a meaningful difference. Examples of this include prepping meals in advance – which reduces shopping and cooking time required- scheduling meetings in a more logical flow based on distance (and proximity to the stable yard!) 4. MOTIVATE FOR FLEXIBILITY


While technology has enabled us to be able to work from pretty much anywhere, working remotely or from home is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea and can be a cause for procrastination and distraction. If it’s possible, grab the opportunity with both hands and ensure you diarise a decent horse-work schedule. If working remotely isn’t an option, consider asking for a change in work hours such as getting to work earlier in order to be able to leave sooner or keeping office hours the same but committing to working extra hours in the late evening or early morning on the days you may miss work or leave earlier in order to fit riding in.

5. SCHEDULE SADDLE TIME Set goals and try your best to stick to them – don’t make them too regimented or they become a grudge - we all know sometimes #LifeHappens. Unfortunately, sometimes riding (as a hobby) has to come second to work or family commitments depending on the importance or urgency of the task at hand – but when this starts happening too frequently we often lose the balance we had achieved and it’s difficult to regain it. Schedule saddle time in your diary and take it as seriously as you would a meeting request from a client. If needs be, reschedule it for another time or day but don’t get into the habit of cancelling or replacing it whenever work requests may clash. Keep riding a priority in your life as much as you would work and kids – after all, riding is basically therapy, so in the best interests of our sanity, our bosses, colleagues and family members should encourage it!

2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE | 19



IV DRIP’S Fab or Fad?

Vitamin IV’s promise to cure a hangover, boost your immune system, reduce fatigue, and brighten skin all in one... is it be the self-care quick fix we’ve been all been waiting for or is it just another wellness fad?


etween full time jobs, children, riding and competing, we can all attest to the permanent state of lethargy many of us find ourselves operating in. We also live in a society of quick fixes considering the short time frames many of us have to implement any form of self-care, so it’s not surprising that high dose intravenous Vitamin “cocktails” are becoming a solution for busy lifestyles. Vitamin IV drip’s, also known as “Jet Fuel”, have grown in popularity in South Africa over the last few years, with a number of specialist providers opening their doors to cater for busy executives, athletes and supermoms alike who need an energy boost on the run. The drips claim to revitalise the body after strenuous sports training or recreational overindulgence (also known as “too many tequilas”) in as little as 30 minutes. The process works by providing a direct infusion of vitamins and minerals (like high doses of Vitamin C or Magnesium) intravenously into the bloodstream, which bypasses the digestive system and provides quicker absorption for faster effectiveness.

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• Skin Radiance Brightens and tightens to even out skin tone and provide a healthy glow. (An ideal option for those participating in outdoor sports like horse riding, where our skin is constantly subjected to the elements) • Sports Endurance & Recovery Increases muscle efficiency and promotes quicker recovery, enabling maximum output from training • Hangover Recovery A hydrating infusion to help ease the hangover recovery process • Detox Helps relieve stress, supports weight loss, clears excess mucus and congestion, and improves general well-being. • Energy Boost Packed with Vitamin B12, Vitamin B Complex and Magnesium to reduce fatigue, boost energy and improve concentration. There are no consultation fees and the drips are administered by registered nurses, making the process quick, convenient and cost-effective in the long run (provided they do what they claim to do). Vitamin IV drips form part of the global mindshift towards holistic and preventative treatments – but not everyone is as convinced about its effectiveness with a lack of scientific evidence and clinical studies to support their claims. ON THE FLIPSIDE IV therapy itself isn’t new and has been used in the medical profession for decades to hydrate patients and administer essential nutrients post-surgery or for those with gut absorption issues or eating difficulties. Nutrient deficiencies, such as Vitamin B12 and Iron have also long been treated with infusions under medical supervision, making the vitamin drips a commercialised version of existing solutions. When it comes to Vitamins and Minerals, you can have too much of a good thing, which poses a host of health complications in itself. Taking in too much of the fat-soluble Vitamin A can lead to the body storing it, which risks damage to major organs like the liver. Whilst the quantities and proportions are controlled and managed, depending on each individuals’ biological makeup, the use of these drips may actually be counter-productive. People with certain conditions, such as kidney disease or heart and blood pressure conditions, should also be mindful of indulging in Vitamin IV drops as they can risk fluid overload and/or issues removing certain minerals from the body. IV Vitamin therapy “cocktails” also often contain high levels of the water-soluble vitamins B and C. The body can only store a certain amount and any excess is excreted, so depending on your body’s levels, you may just be paying to produce some very expensive urine! As with any medical procedure, every time you have an IV line inserted you bypass your skin’s defence mechanism against bacteria, providing a direct path for germs to the bloodstream. There are various formulations of vitamins that you can receive depending on your needs and range from R600 to well over thousands of Rands per session. Most providers offer a range of IV drip options depending on your requirements or symptoms, with offerings along the likes of (as seen at the IV Bar): • Jet Fuel The all in one vitamin cocktail with high doses of vitamins to boost performance and support various health conditions (it also claims to aid in decreasing the frequency and severity of Migraines) • Immune Boosters High doses of Vitamin C to help ward off seasonal illnesses and persistent health niggles

THE BOTTOM LINE Whilst some claim the placebo effect, others vouch for the health and wellness benefits of Vitamin IV Drips. Without scientific evidence to support claims it is difficult to say with confidence which party is correct. The bottom line is that it’s important to consult medical professionals before trying any health treatment - whilst an IV full of essential vitamins and minerals may quickly revitalise the body, for some it could have negative consequences. Nothing is better (or safer) than a healthy diet and lifestyle to provide all the essential dietary requirements – but we all know that in the fast-paced, stressful world we live in, that it’s not always possible and an express energy boost may be the key to maintaining productivity ... and sense of humour!

2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE | 21




Communal Farming for Financial Gain


Impact Farming, or Crowdfarming, is an agricultural revolution that connects investors looking to invest, with farmers who are seeking funding. It comes at a time when the stock market has seen dismal returns for the past few years and investors are looking elsewhere to achieve tangible returns. Enter the concept of communal farming without actually getting ones’ hands dirty.

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Considering South Africa’s reliance on the agricultural sector, it makes perfect sense to enable investment in farming initiatives that are mutually beneficial for both farmer and investor - and this is exactly what local entrepreneurs and businesses have done. LIVESTOCK WEALTH Ntuthuko Shezi, founder and CEO of crowdfarming platform, Livestock Wealth, pioneered this concept when he launched the initiative in 2015. Essentially, the concept is to bring together people, with money to invest, in order to own a farm together and share the capital investment and the returns. The investors don’t need any farming knowledge or experience but simply invest in cows, which are fed and raised on the farm, and receive returns when the cow gives birth or is sold to the beef market. Shezi believes that South Africa needs to move away from the old farming model where one person owns the land, possesses all the skills and farms their own product, and hence the concept of crowdfarming was coined. With this, one entity owns the land, the farmer (who is skilled and enjoys what he does) gets to continue doing what he does best, and other people looking for financial returns invest in the production. It’s a winning combination that benefits all parties involved. Offering investors returns of around 13% per annum, Livestock Wealth has over 730 investors and R36 million worth of cows, and has paid out R4.2 million in dividends. They aim to have 10 000 customers by February 2020. FEDGROUP Similarly, financial institution, Fedgroup, launched their Impact Farming initiative not too long ago based on the global trend whereby socially conscious investors seek sustainable alternatives to investing in the stock exchange. By investing in businesses that benefit society or the environment (for example, renewable energy, sustainable farming, or infrastructure development), impact investors seek to create positive, long-term change whilst still receiving returns. Fedgroup has created a mobile app that allows potential investors to own farming assets by providing access to local crowd-farming ventures that deliver competitive returns – including blueberries, sustainable honey and urban solar farms. The process is quickly and effectively managed via the app, enabling you invest and receive income, and enabling farming experts to take care of the actual farming process. Projected stats are as follows: 1. Blueberries Minimum buy-in: R300 Availability (1st project): 96 000 units Annual return: 12% to 14% Life expectancy: eight to 10 years 2. Beehives Minimum buy-in: R4 000 Availability (1st project): 1 500 units Annual return: 14% to 16% Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years 3. Solar Minimum buy-in: R5 200 Availability (current project) 2 000 20 000 solar panels have been installed to date Annual return: 10% to 12% Life expectancy: 20 years The returns from the investment can be used for passive income or re-invested to grow one's portfolio. So if you’re looking to invest in farming but don’t have green fingers nor the skills to rear cattle, then crowdfarming may be a viable opportunity. Not only will you be able to make returns on your investment but you’re also contributing towards much-needed environmental and social upliftment. FEDGROUP m 011 305 2300 k Info@fedgroup.co.za

LIVESTOCK WEALTH m +27(0)11 568 1131 K www.livestockwealth.co.za

2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE | 23

With 10 stations and more than 10 supporting bus routes, step off Gautrain relaxed, into a city of progress and promise. Gautrain is your golden link to explore the endless opportunities of Gauteng 24 | Equestrian LIFE - Jan-Mar 2020

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1 0 T H I N G S H O R S E S TA U G H T M E


taught me ... about festivities and families #HoHoHorses Horses are like family interactions: in both they teach you to hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and just take whatever the hell comes. At the end of the day, they might bite and kick, but you have a responsibility to them… the horses too.


estive seasons see us shoved into a pressure cooker, with one cup of good intent, three litres of history, an assortment of personalities for flavour, and a tablespoon of weird. Add a glass of wine, close the lid, crank the heat up, and who knows what you will get! With the festive season and holiday period having just passed, we’re probably all trying to regroup from the family festivities ... and all I can say is thank god for horses. Not only will the odd ride keep you calm and well adjusted, but they’ll probably buck you off to keep things in perspective. Nothing like the prospect of possible death to make you love all humankind again. That aside, horses spend most of their time teaching us to be better humans. How, you ask, let’s recap using the festive period as an example.... 1. PATIENCE The festive season is often more stressy than blessy, and it has a lot to do with the frayed tempers that come from the intense pressure to perform. My mother used to say “EVERYONE WILL BE HAPPY AND WE WILL HAVE FUN. NOW.” So what could prepare us better for two weeks of weird conservative relatives, uninterrupted time with candied-up children, and non-stop attention (but zero actual help) from your other half than a HORSE. Really, horses embody the notion that if you act like you have all day it will take five minutes, BUT act like you have five minutes and it will very likely take all day. Any good equestrian knows that right at the moment when you are about to lose it monumentally, you take a deep breath and smile. If you don’t it induces short-term memory loss and your horse forgets that it has ever been boxed, caught, or gone through a puddle. The other thing horses taught me is that patience is sometimes a medicinally induced state, so have that stirrup cup before mom-in-law arrives in the form of a festive half litre of wine.

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2. GIVING IS BETTER THAN RECEIVING Honestly, is there any less of a reciprocal relationship when it comes to gifts than that with your horse?! Our horses tend to have three blanket and bandage SETS in colours like “Burberry” and “dove egg”, aerodynamic flymasks designed by people who were headhunted off of the Formula One circuit, and imported horse treats in Exotic Raspberry while we are lucky if they deign to poop on us when they have colic… AND WE ARE GRATEFUL. Because if your horse gives you anything physical – not counting the warm fuzzies - it’s either a bruise or a vet bill. You’re okay with this? Excellent. You are now prepared for the endless give that is parenting and / or marriage. Expect nothing, except complaints and boogers, and you are adequately prepared. The good thing is that we get such great pleasure from watching Barbie get a haircut and seeing the flymask get trampled, that our festive spirits stay bouyant. We are saps. 3. KINDNESS AKA ASSUME NOTHING As equestrians we find it so easy to be generous to an anxious horse, to a fault. A trembling ear or a little snort is all it takes for us to take a pause and start from scratch, assuming nothing and giving the horse every benefit of the doubt as we methodically and gently feel our way through whatever issue is being faced. Funny, then, that when it comes to humans we are so brittle and unsympathetic? Now I COMPLETELY agree that horses are waaaaay nicer … but maybe if we could transfer a little of that space we hold for our equines to the unhelpful teller (who has maybe lost a parent this year) or the frustrated client (who’s child is sick at home with no help) or even the road rager (probably a knob, but perhaps on his way to a doctor’s appointment) we could use a little of our incredible “feel” to massage the world kinder. from work or the birth of their prophet, if people say Xmas or Christmas, if people choose to celebrate with their family or their friends… it doesn’t matter. Ssssssh. Let people enjoy their things and remember that the I have a fridge magnet that says “When horses buck it means that they essence of this season is generosity and goodwill. Other people having are joyous, so we should be happy for them!” and once I started seeing happiness in ways we don’t recognise doesn’t invalidate ours; only we bucks like that instead of concerted attempts on my life I felt a lot more do that when we choose to believe it is an assault. Which in the case of amused by them. Everyone celebrates joy in different ways, and just Joker levitating up the bridle trail in joie-de-vivre is almost certainly because it’s not OUR way, that doesn’t make it wrong. Likewise, I think we shouldn’t care if people want to celebrate these holidays as a break true - not in the case of Happy Holidays. Choose your fights and spend more energy staying on your horse. 4. EVERYONE CELEBRATES JOY IN DIFFERENT WAYS – LET THEM

5. IF ALL ELSE FAILS … TRY FOOD There is literally no example I can think of where snacks don’t help. It might be putting polyfilla over a giant crack in the wall, but if food can coax a horse into a box NOW then I am okay with dealing with the bigger problem at a later stage. Can’t catch the pony? Bring a carrot, stop pretending you are Monty. Just the same, when your racist uncle opens his mouth, simply fill it with cake! Presto! Silence. Mother criticising your career path? Here, have another mince pie instead, you AND her. Then, “maagies vol, oogies toe” as the Afrikaaners say, and there will be peace on earth. 6. LEAVE EMOTION AT THE DOOR... OF ARGUMENTS OVER DINNER AND TO THE ARENA There are only two emotions that belong in a saddle - patience, and a sense of humour. I am inclined to think that this is how we will survive Christmas lunch round the table. The undeniable advantage of horses is that we buy the ones we like and sell the ones we don’t - this is sadly frowned upon with relatives. You aren’t going to change their minds about most of the things we disagree on in families, so save it. Don’t get upset. Don’t ruin your own peace of mind, like getting upset by your horse spooking for ohmygodtheeighteenthtime at the cavaletti. Big picture. Keep your cool.

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9. REFLECT AND REGROUP WITHOUT “VROTTING” Horses don’t do well with time off. Sure, they need a change of scenery, but this means going on a hack more than leaving them unstimulated in the paddock for three weeks. Likewise, a break from gym should mean a stroll on the beach rather than daily Netflix marathons and a personal challenge to eat more breakfasts than hobbits. Routine keeps us all regular and happy. Take a tip out of good yard management and don’t stagnate or you’ll regret it in January when you don’t fit in your breeches and your horse bucks you off.

Keep your cool, but not at the expense of your soul. I have friends who are normalising Orphan Christmas because there are things that do require emotion and taking a stand - if your family can’t stand your partner, your life choices, or your morals, then it’s a good time to revisit how you would behave if your horse thought it was okay to maybe be the boss of everyone and bite them. To quote Simon Cowell, “it’s a no from me.” It’s okay to have the hard no, especially if it comes down on the side of tolerance and love. And safety, in the case of stroppy mares who think the position of CEO is up for grabs. We all have to decide on our boundaries, and boundaries are nothing if we don’t stick to them. It will serve our own mental health and society well if we all decide that we are no longer accepting apologies, only changed behaviour. 8. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD … AND THE WARMBLOOD Want a nicer horse? Be a better leader. Want a better equine athlete? Be an equestrian athlete. Horse sport is a great analogy for getting out what you put in and reminding us that very little happens in a bubble. In a country plagued by inequalities and intolerance, let’s embody what we want to see more of. In other words no complaining and fault seeking. If your horse feels like it can’t do anything right, it will stop trying. Kids are like that, most obviously, but the same goes for spouses and parents actually. Sometimes you need to give the rein to lead the relaxation and reward a little more generously than you think it necessary, and miraculously the horse responds well. We all tend to do well with competent examples to follow.

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At the end of the day, family is anyone who you love, and festivities are any occasion to celebrate life. This new year, let’s be joyful about the opportunity to maybe get it right in 2020, though as horses continue to teach us, there is no perfect, only many little perfect moments along the way. Be happy, be kind, and be generous with the carrots xxx



10. HERDS ARE HEALTHY If you look at a herd of horses, they are separately together. I think this might be the best way to love people. The festive season can be a hard time for those that have no one, so be there, but at the same time it can be too much, so go stand over there. Sometimes the best way to share love and space with your horse is just by sitting in the stable with no expectations. If they come over, great, but don’t put a halter on them and insist that they love you. But if they have a stone in their foot and they don’t want to come, you might need to insist on the halter for their own good, even if they don’t realise that it’s what they need … you see where I’m going with this?

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GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD An exfoliating mud mask for baby soft skin R295.00 Takealot

BODY POLISHER Exfoliates to remove dead skin cells. R70.00 The Body Shop SKOON GLOWDROPS (5ML) To give skin a glossy glow R199.00 Skoonskin.co.za

BIOGEN PEPTAN COLLAGEN For a multitude of benefits from joint pain relief to improved skin health. R309.95 Dischem

SKIN SENSE Skincare Secret Weapons for 2020 Of all the many resolutions you can make this year, self-care should be right up there on the list! We’ve found some beauty basics to get you started. SKIN CREAMERY DEEP CLEANSING POWDER (60G) An exfoliating magic dust that cleanses & purifies! R310.00 Woolworths

DERMALOGICA AGE BRIGHT CLEARING SERUM (30ML) Prevent breakouts & reduces visible skin ageing R1195.00 Dermalogica

TWILIGHT SHOWER JELLY Funky shower jelly to lather and soothe! R185.00 Lush

30 | Equestrian LIFE - Jan-Mar 2020


www.equestrianlife.co.za 2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE | 31



Mountain Retreat

Disconnect from Digital & Reconnect with Nature

They say that the only sad thing about finding paradise is the fact that you have to leave – and the same can be said about Akasha Mountain Retreat. With spectacular panoramic views over the Langeberg and Duiwenhoks Dam, Askasha Mountain retreat is located just 12km North of Heidelberg in the Western Cape. The solar-powered Cape-Maroc style villa is off the grid and accommodates only one group at a time, ensuring a private, peaceful, digital distraction-free break.


kasha Mountain Retreat is perched on the edge of a secluded mountain, with sweeping panoramic views that are truly breathtaking. Apart from the views, its location also means that it is off the grid – which we love – giving guests the opportunity to truly disconnect and be present in nature. It has everything your heart could desire for a self-imposed adult time-out – large, comfortable beds in which to curl up and read, fireplaces and an oldschool Dover wood-burning stove for baking. The villa at Akasha Mountain retreat is a three-bedroom, two bathroom house with a standalone suite as an optional fourth bedroom. It only accommodates one group at a time, providing families and friends with exclusivity to the entire property throughout their stay – making it ideal for family reunions and celebrating special occasions. Its Moroccan inspired design and décor was lovingly created and chosen by owners Elana and Chris, who travelled to Marrakech for the doors and other decorative items. They live within 500m of the villa and whilst it is equipped for self-catering (and has braai facilities), delicious breakfasts and meals can be delivered by prior arrangement. From the moment you arrive at Akasha, there is a true sense of serenity and tranquility – the proverbial ‘escape’ from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life. Use the quiet time to paint, write that novel, indulge in yoga, meditation and self-care. Take leisurely walks to look for the sugarbirds who nest in nearby proteas or keep a look out for the horses who roam freely on the farm.

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MEET THE HORSES OF AKASHA MOUNTAIN RETREAT Soon after buying the farm 19 years ago, Chris and Elana acquired two mares. Sarah was a chestnut Arab, found near Riversdale who had been covered by a white Arab stallion, and a palamino mare they named Angel, found alone and neglected on a nearby farm. Both Sarah and Angel foaled within months of our two youngest daughters being born. Sarah's foal was named Amber, after her striking colour at birth but she gradually turned white due to her dad's genes, so she was renamed Savanna. She is the daintiest and most curious by far. Angel's foal was named Peaches, a bulky boerperd who inherited her mom's blond mane and tail along with a stand-offish nature. These two 'cousins' are inseparable. A friend of the family was having trouble finding enough grazing for her horses and arranged for them to join the mountain herd for a winter. On fetching them, she couldn't bear to tear their Shetland pony away from what she referred to as "horsie heaven” so they welcomed Pegasus to the herd. He had grown up with her daughter and is ever so tolerant and gentle around children. Next to join the herd was the feisty Orion (a large grey gelding). Pegasus 'tested' him so hard that he went hurtling right through a fence – luckily, no serious injuries. Now they are best pals, who often engage in mutual grooming and tend to sneak into the family home when a door is left open. The next arrival was Amethyst, received in lieu of a debt. She was raised in a posh stable in Knysna, groomed to the hilt and doted over by a young girl. Then came Lotus, another palamino mare gifted by near-neighbours who sold their farm. She took the longest to integrate with the herd but this eventually paid off. Next came the palamino stallion, Sativa - the only stallion and reaching the age to do his 'honours' in expanding the herd. He only has eyes for Lotus though, thus rewarding her persistence in joining the herd. Angel and Sarah since passed of old age. Their last resting place is between two giant trees in the middle of Akasha Farm, where their offspring form the core of the mountain troop roaming free across 120 hectares. Sometimes the horses visit the villa, often at night, usually to the delight of guests (who are forewarned). Mostly it's just Pegasus by himself, in which case guests can treat him to fruit – but not if the others are around, in case their 'food politics' creates pushing and shoving amongst themselves.

Akasha Mountain Retreat m +27 (0)82 090 1741 k info@akasharetreat.co.za K www.akasharetreat.co.za Horse Riding: Eben Karsten m 082 923 1469 k info@oudebosch.co.za K www.oudebosch.co.za

Horse Interactions: John Moodie m 083 270 4035 k john@honeywood.co.za K www.honeywood.co.za


For those looking for something more adventurous, there is a multitude of outdoor activities on offer, including hikes, horse encounters, birdwatching, stargazing, swimming in the nearby river and mountain biking. There are a number of local attractions within driving distance, but with heaven on earth on your doorstep you may find little desire to leave!

2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE | 33


EQUESTRIAN Changing the Equestrian Apparel Landscape


ne brand which has shown immense growth and ingenuity in recent years is JOCK Racing, and its recreational riding counterpart, JOCK Equestrian. Both brands cater specifically for the disciplines for which they were created and have technical differences in their design, fabric and fit to maximise functionality. Much like many South African businesses, this small business is owner-managed, ensuring that customer service remains at the forefront. We caught up with Roxy Joubert, the brains (and beauty) behind the JOCK Racing brand. 1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RIDING AND IN WHAT DISCIPLINES? I have been riding since the age of 5. Riding in children’s I only competed in show jumping up to CA. I lost 2 years of my junior career due to reconstruction surgery on my right leg from a Motocross accident but most of my riding “success“ has come as an Adult rider. After being out of the saddle for some time, I really pushed myself to get back to where I left off - I competed up to 1.20 Show Jumping, intermediate eventing, I have a few showing championships under the belt and recently have made an appearance in dressage arena – all on horses I have produced myself. 2. WHAT GRADE /LEVEL DO YOU CURRENTLY COMPETE IN AND ON WHICH HORSES? Currently I’m competing in lower grade jumping & novice dressage on my young Dutch Warmblood, Goodtimes Gabbana. 3. HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN HORSE RACING? I have been around the horse racing scene for a couple years. On the feature racedays I used to do the lead horse duties on my ex-racehorse Ringing Bells and I had a couple friends involved in the game. My real involvement, however, came 6 years ago when I started dating my partner Bernard Faydherbe – he is one of South Africa’s top jockeys.

Riding apparel within the equestrian industry has seen a major shift over the past decade – from mass produced, imported, global brands being one of the only options (particularly for show and competition wear) to a growing support for locally-made, bespoke, and often hand-made items with a greater emphasis on both functionality and aesthetic appeal. 34 | Equestrian LIFE - Jan-Mar 2020

4. HOW DID JOCK RACING COME ABOUT? Jock was created after a year spent traveling on the international horse racing circuit and realising there was a niche in the market for more fashionable, technical and modern performance race wear for jockeys. Jock was designed by working closely with my partner and launched in December 2017. My passion for equestrian design started in 2008 when I designed my first show jacket and since then I have been dressing equestrians for the show ring before turning it into a full-time profession. I guess you could say the JOCK Equestrian brand started long before the Racing apparel did even though it launched afterwards.



Jock is locally made. Our fabric is hand-picked, every thread, every piece of detail & each garment is individually tailor made in our in-house studio to offer a true sense of authenticity and to create garments that are truly unique.

The Jock brand is currently worn internationally by a few jockeys, but I of course would like it to expand to all aspects and see my brand worn across the globe more.

One could say our Equestrian collection will never be 100% the same. Our signature show Shirt is a cross-over design that can be worn in and out of the arena, allowing riders to make a statement both on and off the horse. We have combined the traditional equestrian look with a modern performance fit and feel. Egyptian cotton is placed across the sweat T panel and we use performance cotton fabric on the side panels & sleeves to provide technical performance, maximum comfort and complete mobility in a tailored silhouette -this design comes in a long and short sleeve as well as a long sleeve with a mesh panel. Our jockey collection consists of track and race wear, from compression tops & leggings, race breeches and track tops - all using imported fabrics from Japan.

I design and make a lot of my own outfits for most of the big race days and I have had a lot of requests to design, dress and style ladies, so I have also been working on a lifestyle collection that will be launched in 2020. 7. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE ENTREPRENEURS IN THE EQUESTRIAN INDUSTRY? There are many of us out there in the industry who are trying to do the same thing. Focus on creating value, differentiating yourself and finding a niche in the market. Watch and learn from others who have come before you and who are considered as industry leaders. Don’t imitate them, but rather draw inspiration from them. Most importantly, always be authentic and transparent.

8. ANY QUOTES / MOTTOS THAT YOU LIVE BY? You can decide to start today - whether they believe in you or not. If you listen to everyone who says you cant’, you would not be where you are. Stand tall and be proud of your drive to show up and do the work on a daily basis no matter how slow you think you might think you going. Growth is never straight forward. People will count on you. Doubt you. Tell you that you can’t. Some will even try decide your life path for you. A lot of people will walk away as you grow. Despite all that, you can still start today. Support is nice. It can be grounding and affirming, but there will be moments when walking alone will show you how big you are and how standing in your power and trusting yourself matters in such major ways too.

JOCK Racing / JOCK Equestrian K www.jockracing.com / Q @jockracing / @jockequestrian D @jockracing

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The Summer of CHAMPIONS

A Magical Summer Racing Season Awaits Summer is well underway, as is the current horse racing season in the Western Cape! Whilst one is spoilt for choice in Cape Town – between beaches, wine farms, award winning gastronomic experiences and natural landmarks and attractions – the Summer of Champions kicked off at Kenilworth Racecourse this December and what a party it has been. The best is yet to come in the first quarter of this year however, as Cape Season ends off on a high and everyone’s attention moves back to Gauteng for the running of the Triple Crown.


ather your friends and family, don your Sunday best and pre- competing for glory, but with on-course entertainment and amazing prizes pare to be thrilled as you experience South Africa’s finest for the best dressed – including a trip for two to London (including flights equine athletes competing for top honours at the upcoming and accommodation) to attend the L’Ormarins Luncheon at the Qatar feature race meetings: Glorious Goodwood Racing festival in July 2020 – there are so many opportunities to walk away a winner. It’s a festival not to be missed LQP RACING FESTIVAL this Summer of Champions! Various ticket and hospitality options are The L’Ormarins Queens Plate is steeped in tradition and the iconic available to suit your style and social needs! trademark blue and white colour scheme and elegant dress code expected of racegoers, makes for a nostalgic return to race meetings of yesteryear. Date: 10 & 11 January 2020 Venue: Kenilworth Racecourse Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th of January are two of the most Tickets: https://www.lqp.co.za/tickets-hospitality/lqp-garden-party/ anticipated race days on the calendar with not only the finest equines

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THE SUN MET The Sun Met, taking place on the 1st of February 2020 is Africa’s richest race day and will see the very best of SA’s racehorses, racing enthusiasts and fashionistas descend on Kenilworth Racecourse. The theme for this years’ event is African Luxury: Visionaries, so you can rest assured that apart from the equine athletes on show, there will be a plethora of eccentric, fashion-forward ensembles worth witnessing first-hand. Media personality, Bonang Matheba, Miss South Africa, Zozi Tunzi, and Internationally acclaimed DJ Black Coffee will ensure that the entertainment is world-class during this celebration of luxury. Date: 1 February 2020 Venue: Kenilworth Racecourse Tickets: http://www.sunmet.co.za/tickets/ VASCO PRIX DU CAP What better way to wrap up the Summer of Champions than with the Cape Town Prawn Festival! Head to Kenilworth Racecourse on the 22nd of February for a day of hot summer sun, speedy thoroughbreds and deliciously fresh seafood. Live entertainment, prize giveaways and a host of family fun will ensure that there is something for everyone on-course. Make sure you’re there to get your share! Date: 22 Feburary 2020 Venue: Kenilworth Racecourse

CLASSIC DAY - FAMILY DAY For those unfamiliar with the Triple Crown Series, it is a series of three races run in quick succession for SA’s best three-year old horses – the Triple Crown for colts and geldings and the Triple Tiara for fillies. It is a series which requires strength, stamina and heart and winning just one of these races is considered an achievement – whilst winning all three is a massive accolade which has only been achieved a handful of times. Classics Day, on the 7th of March 2020, sees the second leg of the Triple Crown (the SA Classic) and the Triple Tiara series (the SA Fillies Classic), both over 1800m, hosted at Turffontein Racecourse. With kids entertainment, lucky draws, cash prizes, a beer garden and live entertainment, Classics Day is a day for the whole family to enjoy. Entrance on to the racecourse is free so don your best attire and head to Turffontein to experience the thrill of the race. Date: 7 March 2020 Venue: Turffontein Racecourse For further information follow Racing. It’s A Rush on social media or visit www.itsarush.co.za

E https://www.facebook.com/RACINGitsarush D https://twitter.com/racing_itsarush Q https://www.instagram.com/racingitsarush/ C https://www.linkedin.com/company/racing-it-s-a-rush

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COLT WEAR KIDS SHIRT R310.00 Equestrian House

EA KIDS GLOVES R240.00 Equestrian Affair


Kids Riding Starter Pack

CLOTHING New to the sport and not sure where to start? We’ve done your homework for you and found some riding basics that your little one will need as they start their equestrian career. KIDS LEATHER JODPHUR BOOTS R525.84 Castano Equestrian Equipment

COLT KIDS TWO TONE SLACKS R293.22 Western Shoppe

KIDS & PONIES KIDS SOCKS R199.00 Natal Saddlery

SWING BODY PROTECTOR R3530 Equestrian house


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In pursuit of excellence we offer the following at Manor D'or:  Solarium  Hydrospa  Velox Walker  Indoor arena  Dressage arenas  Outdoor Jumping arena  Vitafloor  Derby arena

 Large stables all fitted with fans  Automated fly spray systems in all stables  Best staff in the business  Showjumping and dressage lessons  Happy horses!!

We are conveniently situated near all the major show venues in Kyalami.  Kim 0848401534

 Ronelle 0828003397 2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE | 39


The War Against

TACK THEFT Netstar Dynamic Asset Recovery

Tack theft isn’t new – it’s a topic which has been plaguing the equestrian community for the past few years with well-organised syndicates managing to bypass even advanced security systems. Vehicle tracking company, Netstar has developed a tracking unit to try aid in the recovery of stolen assets such as saddles, which is exclusively available from Milmac.


part from the inconvenience of not being able to ride until replaced, the violation of someone having been in “your space” and taking your hard-earned possessions and the time and effort required report the theft and claim from insurers – for some, it may spell the end of a riding career. When it comes to saddle theft, for many, they’re irreplaceable. Some have been made or custom manufactured for specific horses, some brands are no longer available and for others, who purchased their saddles many years back or a pre-loved tack, the cost of purchasing the same quality saddle is simply impossible. The syndicates behind tack thefts are highly organised – with advanced security systems and CCTV cameras being tampered with so effectively that yard owners and security companies aren’t alerted, little evidence is left behind and there’s no means of identifying the culprits. While preventing the actual break in and theft remains the responsibility of the yard owner – with many trying everything from electric fencing, access control, CCTV surveillance and roaming security to smoke bombs

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and armed response – tracking and recovery company, Netstar, have developed a unit which can assist in the recovery of these saddles even if the security measures put in place fail. The unit weighs only 50g, is water and dustproof (IP67 Rated) and uses Radio Frequency for tracking purposes – of which Netstar owns the largest network in the country. They are low maintenance, with a three year battery life, and come with a certified fitment certificate for insurance purposes. The units are intended specifically for tack theft – and not instances where your horse has made a getaway with your saddle still attached – and will need to be replaced once activated for recovery purposes. The Initial Fee for Netstar’s Dynamic Asset Recovery is R1,115.50 which includes the unit, installation and the first instalment, after which it is billed monthly at R118.50 incl. VAT. For more information or installation, contact Milmac or visit www.milmac.co.za




! y a d o t s u l l Ca Tel: 086 100 1182 | 076 983 8255 Email: sales@milmac.co.za Helen: 072 715 1271 | helen@milmac.co.za


Exclusively Distributed by

DYNAMIC SADDLE RECOVERY Certified - Fitment certificate for insurance Low Maintenance – 3 year battery life 2020 Jan-Mar - Equestrian LIFE 50g | 41 Low Weight – Recovery unit weighs



Up the Wrong Tree 7 Common Dog Training Misconceptions

While most of us have our pets’ best interests at heart, many of us are still guilty of poor decisions when it comes to training and behaviour management – often simply due to lack of knowledge or poor references on which to base our actions. We caught up with Samantha Walpole, dog behaviourist, trainer and owner of Be The Dog, to find out some of the more common misconceptions when it comes to dogs and their behaviour: 42 | Equestrian L IFE - Jan-Mar 2020

MISCONCEPTION #1: IGNORING AN UNWANTED BEHAVIOUR WILL STOP THE BEHAVIOUR A common rule of thought is to ignore an unwanted behaviour and it will go away. This works on the premise that ‘ignoring’ removes the reinforcement and in time will stop a behaviour. This is correct in theory if there is no reinforcement, however, what happens if the behaviour is self-rewarding? An example would be a dog who jumps on people. The behaviour itself is reinforcing to the dog so no matter how good you are at ignoring the dog, the behaviour is there to stay. Instead, one would implement management to prevent the behaviour (jumping) being practiced and simultaneously redirect behaviour and reward four feet on the floor. With repetition and consistency this competing behaviour would soon become the new habit.

MISCONCEPTION #2: “MY DOG BIT OUT OF THE BLUE – IT WAS COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED” Unless a dog is sick, all bites are provoked by something. Detail on context is important when establishing what caused a dog to bite. Emotion drives behaviour. Let’s take an example of a dog who bit a child. First question is what was the child doing? “Patting the dog”. What was the dog doing? “Nothing”. I then proceed to ask questions drawing out what ‘nothing’ looks like. Observational skills kick in for the owner and often a different picture is presented. The dog was ‘still/frozen; licked its nose; turned its head away; yawned; showed the whites of its eye; then came the bite. All these small body movements or lack thereof (freeze) are indicators of the dog being under pressure and requesting space. The dog was provoked (not intentionally, but due to miscommunication between two different species), the dog asked politely for the interaction to stop by using the language listed above, as no one was listening, the behaviour escalates and now the dog has bite history. MISCONCEPTION #3: GIVING YOUR DOG ATTENTION WHEN IT IS FRIGHTENED WILL REWARD THE FEAR This is what ethologists stated many moons ago, but fortunately, we know better today. Fear is an involuntary response. It cannot be reinforced. Context and the dog’s personal needs must be taken into account. What makes ‘your’ dog feel better if it is frightened of storms? A safe hiding space with you present, touching or not touching? Another example would be a vet’s waiting room. Many dogs display a multitude of fearful behaviours in this context as history has taught them bad things are about to happen. A lot of petting and touching may not be what your dog needs. Perhaps just resting a hand quietly on your dog’s body will do the trick to ease the fear. If your dog finds comfort with tactile attention when it is afraid, carry on! You are not ‘praising’ an involuntary emotional response. Learning what your dog finds comforting (or not) is the key to reassurance. MISCONCEPTION #4: OBEDIENCE VS. LEARNED HELPLESSNESS There is no mistaking that aversive training methods work. Punishing a dog will certainly change behaviour. Let’s use the example of a dog in a training class environment. The dog barks; growls and lunges at other dogs. Punishing the dog and forcing it into submission may certainly stop this behaviour, giving the impression that the dog is now ‘behaving’. However, the fearful or frustrated underlying emotion is still there. Learned Helplessness is when a dog is too frightened to do anything, so it goes into a ‘shut down’ state – little to no responsiveness. It is literally the case of the dog being damned if it does and damned if it doesn’t. This is not an obedient dog or a ‘good dog’. It is a dog who is displaying supressed behaviours as it is afraid of learned consequences. MISCONCEPTION #5: DO NOT LET YOUR PUPPY LEAVE THE HOUSE UNTIL ALL IT’S VACCINATIONS ARE COMPLETE These poor pups are destined for life of hardships as they have not been positively exposed to a multitude of novel stimuli in different contexts. The critical socialisation period closes at around 16 weeks old. Statistically, puppy remaining behind four walls for the first 6 months of life are more likely to be euthanised due to behavioural problems later on. Of course Parvo virus is rampant in uncontrolled areas where dogs frequently go such as public dog parks. There are many other options which can be carefully chosen to minimise health risk and reap the rewards of a well socialised adult dog with good coping skills.

MISCONCEPTION #6: RANK REDUCTION AND DOMINANCE IN DOGS ‘Dominance’ is an outdated and often misused term by owners and trainers. In the industry it is considered a ‘dirty’ word as it is so misunderstood. Originally based on how wolves behave which has subsequently been disproven over and over again. It is a term often used to explain unwanted behaviours in our dogs. Old methodology was to implement rank reduction protocol to ‘fix’ the dog. ‘Dominance’ is not a personality trait. A dog does not have a cunning plan to take over the household and become the Alpha. Instead he is merely behaving in a manner that works for him in a particular context. When clients are describing their dog as ‘dominant’ it is usually a dog who either has no manners and or is socially compromised with a limited skill set. This can be rectified by implementing humane behavioural modification. Dogs need you to be their advocate, they don’t need adversaries. MISCONCEPTION #7: A WAGGING TAIL IS A FRIENDLY HAPPY DOG This is the most common misinterpretation of dog language. The only ‘wag’ ethologists know for sure depicts a happy dog is when the entire tail swoops in a figure of eight movement (also known as the helicopter wag) which has the entire tail literally wag the hips of the dog from side to side. Then there are the dogs with no tails or docked tails who subsequently have a reduced visual social dialect – in these cases watch the hips, look out for the fast pace hip movements and soft wiggly body. All other tail wags can mean fear, insecurity, a social challenge, or a warning to back off. One would require context and what the rest of the body is doing to interpret the tail wag. Be the Dog: Samantha Walpole m 082 775 1400 k sam@bethedog.co.za E Be The Dog (@bethedogbehaviourist)

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about bacon

Homemade Peanut Butter & Bacon Dog Treats Peanut butter and bacon… probably two of the most under-rated ingredients. Delicious eaten independently, so just imagine how great they’ll taste combined. Just ask Sparky after you treat him with these homemade cookies. Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 32 Minutes Yield: Depends on the size of your cookie cutter Ingredients 1 cup (255g) natural creamy peanut butter 3/4 cup (180ml) non-fat milk 1 large egg or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 2 cups (244g) whole wheat flour* (spoon & leveled) 1 Tablespoon baking powder 1/3 cup (30g) oats* 2–3 strips cooked bacon, chopped Intructions: 1. Preheat oven 160°C. Line two large baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. 2. In a large bowl, gently mix the peanut butter, milk, and egg together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the flour and baking powder. You may need to turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and use your hands to work in the flour. Mix in the oats and bacon. The dough is extremely thick and heavy. 3. Using a floured rolling pin, cut into shapes using cookie cutters or a knife. Arrange on the baking sheets. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the bottom. Remove from the oven, and flip the treats to bake the other side for 10-12 more minutes. 4. Allow to cool completely before serving to your pup. Cover and store leftovers at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Recipe Credit: Sally’s Baking Addiction (https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-peanut-butter-dog-treats/) @sallysbakeblog



ADVENTURES When the Name Says it All

Glamping - “a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping”. When the Oxford English Dictionary has a formal definition of Glamping, then you know it’s a real thing – and one individual who took this definition seriously and subsequently made a successful business out of it, is single mom and entrepreneur Gugu Sithole. The roving glamping retreats have been well received, particularly by South Africans looking to visit local attractions and escape the city but without sacrificing their creature comforts.


ELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF? My name is Gugu Sithole. I have always been chasing adventure from a young age. I am an entrepreneur who runs an event and branding company. My experience lies in the full spectrum of marketing disciplines such as Advertising, Brand, Events, Sponsorship, Promotions etc. I have a passion for travel, having travelled to 25 countries and currently popularizing South Africa through Glamping Adventures, a travel company I co-founded with my business partner Davison Mudzingwa. We organize glamping excursions to different parts of the country and the region.

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HOW DID GLAMPING COME ABOUT? Glamping Adventures was inspired by various factors. Firstly, the love for travel and the need to fill the niche that existed in the camping service sector. Dave and I believed the existing mobile camping companies did not provide the creature comforts that travellers needed. The other side of the coin was that most glamping providers are located at permanent places, so we thought of combining both glamour and mobility. The great reception from the market is encouraging and gives us the validation that our offering is properly modeled. TELL US A BIT ABOUT GLAMPING? We offer trendy traveling and glamping in South Africa and the region. We have travelled to places like Magaliesberg, Mpumalanga (Graskop), Drakensberg and Parys. You can see from our mobility that our DNA is anchored on moving to places that offer a great breakaway from cities. Our roving glamping (glamorous camping) retreats are hosted in iconic natural destinations that connect all our travelers in South Africa. Our packages include spacious tented accommodation set up for you, great cuisine and adventure activities; all with a touch of glam. Our tents are spacious, lit and have comfortable beds. Our retreats are suitable for keen solo travellers, couples, social groups, corporate companies staff retreats and team building and our guests don’t need to rough it up to enjoy this, they just arrive and check in.

a model that decentralizes Glamping Adventures. This will be the realization of its founding. We set on inspiring people to travel, so it will be great to have some hybrid structure that people take ownership of this business. BEST PART OF GLAMPING ADVENTURES FOR YOU? I believe in new experiences. It’s enriching to meet new people and travelling to new places. Basically I feel free and happy.

WHERE ARE YOUR UPCOMING DESTINATIONS? We have an impressive 2020 glamping calendar. Our offerings are typical weekend getaways. This means travelers arrive on Friday and enjoy the glamping weekend until Sunday. Our packages are R1999 per person sharing a glamping tent. If one requires a tent alone, it is R2300. Due to the threshold that we cap our numbers; we encourage travelers to pay a deposit of R700 to secure their spots and the remainder to be paid off before the trip. Our 2020 first quarter is packed with attractive offerings. Kruger National Park: 14 – 16 February 2020 Clarens: 25 – 27 March 2020 Bela Bela: 10 – 12 April 2020 WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR THE BUSINESS? The plans are lofty. Firstly, we are conscious of the fast-changing world we live in and the need for business to keep ahead of the curve. We will remain dynamic as Glamping Adventures. Secondly, in the medium term, we want to have more frequent glamping adventure weekends. Currently, we do one per month. Our target is to have at least two per month. There is a lot of places to visit in South Africa and the region. The long term is to coin

Glamping Adventures m +27 11 958 5140 K www.glamping-adventures.co.za k info@glamping-adventures.co.za

E @glampingadventuresZA Q @glampingadventuresza D @glampingza L +27 73 539 3154

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5 Minutes WITH ...


Rolling with the Punches

ather, family man, operational paramedic, professional boxer, current IBO World Champion and horse racing enthusiast, Kevin Lerena, chats to Equestrian Life SA about life and his love for horses:

Are your currently involved in any race horses? I have small shares in 2 or 3 horses at Lerena Racing. I do it just for fun and because I love the sport. When and how did you get involved with horses? Since I was born ! My dad was a trainer & his brothers were all involved in racing as jockeys & as trainers. So ever since I can remember I was involved in the sport of kings.

Goals and Plans for 2020? I look to further my paramedicine studies and to evolve as a person with regards to life, sport and everything in general. Greatest piece of advice received and from whom? Work hard and stay true to the grind - I got this advice from Floyd Mayweather when I met him in Las Vegas. Who is your greatest Inspiration? My kids inspire me !! Because they are my reason and my will to succeed. Quote that you live by? I think the best one is “ when the going gets tough , the tough get going “ ... each day you have to get up and get after it.

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Greatest Highlights of 2019? Defending my world title 3 times and being awarded the IBO diamond ring.

KwaZulu Natal

Western Cape

Tel: 031 768 1453

Tel: 021 976 8044


Tel: 083 661 1543

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